Are pigeons as smart as AI? US study surprises scientists

In a recent study, scientists shed light on an unexpected ability found in pigeons. These urban birds, often seen as pests, were subjected to a series of tests that revealed their remarkable problem-solving abilities, comparable to artificial intelligence (IA).

Challenging the stigma of pigeons

Pigeons may not be the first to come to mind when thinking about intelligence animal, but previous research had already indicated that they have notions of space and time.

This new research, led by Ohio State University psychology professor Brandon Turner and his University of Iowa colleague Edward A. Wasserman, delved deeper into this intriguing field.

The researchers exposed the pigeons to a variety of visual stimuliincluding lines with different widths and angles, concentric rings and sectioned rings.

On that occasion, the birds had to peck a button on the right or left to categorize each stimulus. Correct responses were rewarded with food, while errors resulted in no reward.

And nothing else: the results were surprising. Even on the most challenging tasks, the pigeons improved their success rates remarkably: from 55% to 68%.

In simpler tasks, they achieved an incredible 95% accuracy and this demonstrated that these birds learn through trial and error, a remarkable characteristic.

The role of AI in the study

To better understand this ability, the researchers tested a simple artificial intelligence model, which faced the same tasks as pigeons.

In turn, the AI ​​performed remarkably well, making accurate predictions in a significantly greater number of cases.

Before the study, however, it was believed that pigeons relied exclusively on associative learning, which links two phenomena, such as “water” and “wet.”

However, pigeons proved to be more versatile. They did not try to create rules, but relied on associative learning and error correction. This is a remarkable approach.

Turner explains that, unlike humans, who create rules to make a task easier, pigeons opt for a trial-and-error approach.

This suggests that nature has found an efficient way to create learners with unique capabilitiesunlike the human approach.

Image: Yandex/fareastru

In short, this study challenges our conventional understanding of the concept of intelligence.

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It further demonstrates that this ability can manifest itself in surprising ways, even in creatures as common as pigeons.

After this search innovative, it is important to recognize that intelligence can manifest itself in many ways, including in the simplicity of a pigeon.